Having examined the wounds in his side, legs, head, and throat, the old hermit (a skilful leech) knelt down by the side of the vanquished one and said, 'Sir Knight, it is my painful duty to state to you that you are in exceedingly dangerous condition, and will not probably survive.' -from "A Legend of the Rhine" Thackeray was one of the most popular writers of fiction of his time, but few readers are familiar with works beyond his 1847 novel Vanity Fair. This omnibus volume collects some of his lesser-known but equally vivid and delightfully caustic writing, including comic short novels sending up chivalrous romances, humorous poetry tweaking popular verse of the era, and a selection of letters and other writings from before his work as a professional man of letters. Complete with whimsical illustrations, some by the author, this is essential reading for lovers of 19th-century British literature. British journalist and novelist WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY (1811-1863) was a regular contributor to some of the most prominent periodicals of his day, including Punch, where his satires of English snobbery attracted public attention and acclaim.